The general consensus from our partners in the field is that afterschool programs are strongly positioned to reinforce learnings from the school day and should serve as partners to schools in Common Core Standards implementation. This assertion was recently reinforced through the work of one of our state affiliates. Our New Jersey NAA State Affiliate, NJSACC, received a Supporting Student Success (S3) grant for the 2012-2013 school year to help their organization support a pilot group of programs in infusing Common Core into their program content. Some key takeaways from the pilot included:
1) the importance of building strong relationships between afterschool and school day staff
2) afterschool staff need training to understand the Common Core
3) training can be conducted jointly with afterschool and school day staff
4) the right staff need to be selected to implement Common Core effectively
5) incorporating student voice helps engage students.
These findings are all very instructive as we at NAA think about how to position the work of afterschool in Common Core efforts.
To learn more about Common Core and afterschool check out this recent OST policy brief from our friends at the Forum for Youth Development http://forumfyi.org/content/out-school-time-pol-11 as well as this brief from the Partnership for Children and Youth. http://partnerforchildren.org/storage/documents/ccss_acsa_010413.pdf
Both are sure to expand your thinking about Common Core and provide both strategies and insight for how to align your program work with the schools and students you serve.
Until next time...